Waimarolevulevu ki vua na Turaga na Ratu;
Members of the School Committee;
Teachers, Guardians and Students;
Ladies and Gentlemen.
Bula vinaka and a very good morning to you all.
I’m delighted to be here this morning to officially commission these new teachers’ quarters at the Namalata District School.
In total, this project will see six (6) new quarters made available to your teaching staff, four of which I have the pleasure of opening today.
I remember the opening of the new Korovou Fire Station across the street back in 2016. It was there –– as we expanded our nationwide network of our fire response services –– that your community first raised the issue of replacing the existing teachers quarters on this campus, many of which were damaged by the brutal winds and flooding brought by Tropical Cyclone Winston.
Whenever and wherever I spend time in our country, I treasure the time I spend with communities, learning about their needs and exploring how my Government can help solve their problems. The Government I lead does not make its decision sitting in the comfort of offices in Suva. We go to communities. We listen to our people. We see the issues they face with our own eyes, we hear their concerns, and we work with our people to come up with solutions.
That personal, face-to-face interaction is what I love most about Fiji. And it’s why I’m proud to stand here today to deliver on the promise I personally made to your community by officially bringing your teachers these four (4) new, high-quality quarters to call their home. We all know that a good teacher can have a lifelong impact, so we cannot take their comfort or quality of life for granted.
With the peace of mind, independence, and security proper housing, your teachers can fully focus on what matters most – teaching. They’ll wake up in the mornings, better-rested and ready to start the day on the right foot.
And I’m confident that this heighted quality of life that they will now bring to the classroom will be felt directly by their students. Sometimes, all it takes is that extra push from a motivated teacher to inspire a passion that stays with a young girl or boy for the rest of their life.
Some of you may have seen my message ahead of the beginning of the term wishing all of our students well as they embarked on a new school year. In that message, I said that each and every Fijian girl and boy has a greatness within them, and that education allows you to tap into that greatness –– and discover your true potential –– to create whatever life you want for yourself. As you continue through this term, and through all of your educational journey, I want you to remember that. You can do anything you put your mind to, so don’t let the immense opportunities that exist today in Fiji go to waste.
I’d like to close with a big ‘vinaka vakalevu’ to our RFMF Engineers, who, I’m told, were responsible for constructing these new teachers’ quarters.
I think the teachers and students here at Namalata Primary School can take a special sense of pride in the fact that the same training and expertise that built these new quarters is now being channeled in another very big way, as a contingent of RFMF Engineers is now in Australia, hard at work helping our neighbours rebuild from the bushfire crisis.
My friends, I wish you nothing but the very best in the year ahead. Let today mark the beginning of a new chapter for Namalata Primary School, and for all of Korovou. I look forward to seeing your students grow up to achieve great things in the years to come.
Vinaka vakalevu, and God bless.